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Old 01-16-2014, 10:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to deal with different personalities in puppies?

I'm not sure where to post this. Sasha has been my heart dog for the last 2 1/2 years. She's amazing but was a very difficult land shark. She is a high drive dog (and BYB). I spent hours and hours helping her become the best she can be. She and I have a routine and I love her. Right before Christmas, I got Hans. It's a long story but he's so sweet. He is nothing like Sasha. He doesn't have the same drive. It's probably a good thing but I need help in dealing with a lower drive dog. I am so used to Sasha that I am having problems learning how to cope with a laid back, less driven dog. Don't get me wrong, I ADORE and LOVE Hans. He is so amazing. I just want him to have the same fulfilling life as Sasha. So, I'm here to ask for your help.

As an example, I'm posting some pics. It tells the story. Here is Sasha at 4 months.

Now, here is my sweet boy Hans at 11 weeks.

And finally, here is Sasha during a major storm. It was 18 degrees outside when we went for our walk. All she cared about was her ball.

For some background, the only thing I know about Hans is that he lost his mother at 8 or 10 days old. She was a pure bred WGSD. I don't know about the father. Hans was one of 11 pups. I took him in at around 7 weeks of age (I think). He acted like he was starving to death and he still tries to nurse on things. He is not a land shark and is so sweet. He seems sad most of the time. Of course, this is my human feelings. He just seems to give up on tugging and playing too easy. What can I do to build his confidence?
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Old 01-17-2014, 01:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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So Hans' mother is a white GSD and his father is unknown? I would expect Sasha, a purebred GSD, to have higher drive than a white GSD mix. White GSDs are not known for having strong drives, and whoever the father is may be a laid-back dog himself. It's all about genetics.

It sounds like he's just a mellow, lower-drive, easygoing pup and does not feel the need or desire to bite, tug and possess like Sasha does. Not a thing wrong with that. Just because he's more laid-back doesn't necessarily mean he is sad or lacks confidence. Enjoy him for what he is, train and socialize him well, and don't worry about a thing. If he acts frightened or nervous around new things, then you can simply work on more socialization and good experiences.
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Old 01-17-2014, 02:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hans is cute! Set him up for success. Get excited when he does the littlest thing right. Be sure to spend time with him, one-on-one. Figure out what makes him tick, what kind of toys, treats and games he likes and use those to motivate him.
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Old 01-17-2014, 06:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freestep View Post
So Hans' mother is a white GSD and his father is unknown? I would expect Sasha, a purebred GSD, to have higher drive than a white GSD mix. White GSDs are not known for having strong drives, and whoever the father is may be a laid-back dog himself. It's all about genetics.
Not trying to start an argument here but I don't agree with this in the slightest. I do agree that genetics definitely comes into play.

Our White female was all drive. At 9 years old you couldn't tell much difference from when she was 1-2 years old. Either she was "special" or this is a misconception.

To the OP. Our pup is lower drive which we are ok with. In fact that is what we asked for. He is great, laid back and relaxed in most situations. We play tug and while he is young I let him win in hopes of building his confidence. I get down on the floor with him and play. He comes alive, loves the interaction.

Just a couple of suggestions.
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm not following what the problem is... can you give us an example? I have had this experience before and the biggest challenge for me was that of adjusting MY style between the two dogs. What worked for one often did not work for the other in terms of my style... tone, giving dogs challenges, need for encouragement, lots of other things. Perhaps keeping a log of what works for each dog and referring to it before training?
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Not trying to start an argument here but I don't agree with this in the slightest. I do agree that genetics definitely comes into play.
Temperament and drive levels are inborn. They can be modified by drive-building, training, etc. but the drive has to be in the genetics for there to be something to build on.

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Our White female was all drive. At 9 years old you couldn't tell much difference from when she was 1-2 years old. Either she was "special" or this is a misconception.
I'd say she was "special". There are exceptions, of course, but by and large, white GSDs have not been bred for drive or working ability for a long time. I'm sure there are a good number of white GSDs in things like obedience, agility, flyball, etc. but I don't know if there are any with IPO titles. There's drive, and then there is *drive*.
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Comparing the two isn't fair to your pup. He's just a totally different personality. That's like saying your second child has to play basketball like their older sibling when they really would rather read a book. Just because he doesn't do the same things as Sasha, doesn't mean his life isn't fulfilling ... for him. Figure out what he loves to do and then encourage him to do it, whether it's fetch, obedience/tricks with treats, or just getting loved on. He also may change as he matures too. My pup has good drives, but didn't really develop a love for ball play until he was 4-5 months old. Now he would rather do that than anything else (except play with his flirt pole).
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hans is a baby (a cute one!) and if I'm doing my maths right (lol), you've only had him for a few weeks. He might still be getting settled into things, and you two are still bonding, so don't worry. Every pup has a different personality, and you'll have no trouble learning all about Hans and what makes him happy as you two grow together. Try out lots of different things with him one-on-one and he'll be fine.

LOL, my bf says Warden looks "sad" sometimes too... I think it's just the way his face looks!! He's definitely a very happy dog.
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Old 01-17-2014, 07:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone! I think I just need to chill out a little. I tend to be just as hyper as Sasha so maybe Hans will teach ME to be a little calmer. I also need to spend more time with him, one on one. Eiros is right, I've only had him for a few weeks and it's been a hectic few weeks with the holidays and all. Now that things are settling down, I'll try some more alone time with him. He might like puzzles better. He is very food driven so I'll work on some games and see how he does.

LOL, I couldn't even pet Sasha without her biting until she was 6 months old! Hans will sit in my lap for an hour and cuddle. He is such a sweet heart.
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